Postal Updates

Former USPS governor describes how DeJoy got PMG job

Aug 25, 2020, 12 PM
A former member of the U.S. Postal Service's board of governors said current members supported Louis DeJoy's candidacy for postmaster general without doing a background check.

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

David C. Williams, the former vice chairman of the United States Postal Service’s board of governors, laid out in great detail Aug. 20 how Postmaster General Louis DeJoy got his job, saying that members of the board pushed his candidacy without bothering to do a routine background check.

Speaking during a virtual ad-hoc hearing organized by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Williams broke his silence on why he suddenly resigned from the postal board on May 6 shortly before it pushed DeJoy, a major Republican Party donor, into the U.S. Postal Service’s top position.

The caucus is affiliated with the Democratic Party in the U.S. Congress.

In his comments at the session, Williams revealed that he quit because of what a postal lawyer described as the illegal actions that Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin was proposing that would give his department effective control over the Postal Service.

“He wanted to have some say on how things are done,” Williams said.

Among the issues on which Mnuchin wanted to have a voice were postal rates, labor agreements, contracts with major mailers and how USPS costs are allocated. 

“If this is the beginning of what the president promised, it’s the end of the Postal Service,” Williams told the caucus.

Williams said Mnuchin wanted the agency to adopt a “fully allocated costs” formula that was endorsed by United Parcel Service, a USPS rival. The change would be ruinous to the USPS, Williams said.

Williams, a former USPS inspector general, said an executive search firm had given the board more than a dozen candidates for postmaster general when John M. Barger of Los Angeles, a governor who headed the search committee, began pushing DeJoy.

The board did not perform a background check on DeJoy, whose North Carolina logistics company had a contract with the agency, Williams said.

Such a check would be routine and should have examined whether billings between the USPS and the company were proper, he said.

Williams said he participated in two interviews DeJoy had with the board and neither went well.

“He didn’t strike me as a serious candidate,” Williams said.

Barger had to help him with answers at the second meeting, he said.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who presided over the two-hour session, thanked Williams for his stunning testimony.

Asked about DeJoy’s controversial steps to slow mail, Williams said the postmaster general was acting like “an enraged bull,” making major changes to an organization that is more than 200 years old with only five weeks of postal experience.

Robert Duncan, chairman of the Postal Service’s board of governors, disclosed in testimony before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Reform on Aug. 24 that he placed DeJoy’s name before the board.

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